If you ever had a cough, a stuffy nose, or any symptom of the common cold in my presence, you have probably heard me suggest bourbon as a remedy. Of course, folks are always asking me what type of bourbon they should be drinking. I’m here to answer that question.
First off, I want to explain how I believe bourbon should be used as a cure. I do not suggest drinking bourbon when you are actually sick, especially if you have an upset stomach. Bourbon will not help that at all, and it will usually hurt it. In addition, drinking too much bourbon is always bad. Don’t be your own irresponsible doctor. However, if you feel yourself start to get a little stuffy, or if allergies are hitting you hard, then a small dram of bourbon can do just the trick. It works by clearing your palate and your sinuses to allow you to go through the day with a clear head. Just so we are clear, I am not a medical doctor; I just go with my gut and past experience.
For curing the symptoms of a cold, I would recommend a high-rye, high proof bourbon. I would also recommend not wasting a great whiskey on a cold. My choices for cold remedies definitely start with Fighting Cock 6-year. At 103 proof, it has plenty of bite, and it really zings hard on the finish. If this doesn’t clear out your sinuses, I’m not sure what will. If you want the same bite, but you want a little more complexity and character, reach for Wild Turkey 101. It is one of my favorite winter whiskeys for just this reason. If you want something really cheap, try Old Grand-Dad Bonded. It is a pretty drinkable whiskey (even at 100 proof), and I have found it for as low as $15 a bottle.
All that being said, find the whiskey that works best on your cold, and let it ride!